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Review Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4): A fitting end to the franchise!

genre: action, adventure
year: 2016

A few weeks ago I got this game as a gift and naturally I jumped into this adventure the first moment I could and kept on playing until I was finished with only one or two breaks in between. Like the previous games this title is a good combination of excellent storytelling and gameplay. So what can I add about this game you already don't know?

Well, maybe my initial skepticism. I was under the impression that Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3) was going to be the last in the franchise and honestly while I immensely enjoyed that game I was getting a little tired of the old formula. There was more emphasis on spectacle and shooting then there was exploring and puzzle solving. And it is not that what was offered wasn't entertaining or bad. But more that the balance seemed off. Or that the gameplay was not diverse enough. I mean after two titles a few changes here and there would have been very welcome. To my surprise Uncharted 4 does this in two distinctive ways. The story while relatively less epic compared to the previous games at least to me was a more compelling and interesting one. Uncharted stood out from similar action adventures because of the dynamics between the characters. In this final part (I assume it is) these dynamics have been taken to the next level in how the characters act during gameplay and in the non interactive cut scenes. The characters have evolved immensely and previous adventures have made an impact on them. It is very rare to see this happen in games and even in the Uncharted series the main characters didn't change as much since most of the stories were just excuses to incorporate the spectacular action sequences. However for the first time Nate actually has stopped and thought about what truly matters in life and how he should continue living it. Or that now he actually thinks twice to jump into dangerous adventures and feels very nostalgic about his old life. No doubt that Uncharted 4 is heavily influenced by Naughty Dog's The Last of Us where a lot of attention is paid to details that make you more involved with the characters. They are now more than just polygons, pixels or canon fodder.

Another element that popped out to me is the stealth. Not as expansive in genuine stealth titles of course but the improvement is considerable. Most levels can be completed without alerting enemies or having to shoot your way out. I can't tell you how overjoyed I was. I love stealth and especially if you can pull it off smoothly. There are even areas where you can hide in bushes or grass to make it easier for you. Nate has never been this efficient. One big plus of having this added means that there are more ways to complete a level and thus the game has more replay value. Very important for a story based title.

From all the games in the franchise this is the first I jumped into immediately after having finished it. Also because once completed you will unlock cheats and modifiers that could enhance your experience even further. I mean next to unlimited ammo and a bullet time mode there is a slow motion mode which you can turn on and off whenever you please. I also loved how the story ended. It's a very good conclusion and doesn't leave a thing open. In my opinion this will be very much worth your time and definitely a title that brings out the best the PS4 can offer. 

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